Series

 

Writing prompt: Make the ending gripping and write it in exactly 400 words.

 

She had sunk her fangs deeply into the Orkin man’s neck, injecting a toxin that would paralyze him for some time and wrapping him in tight, silk strands near the nursery. She would add the digestive enzymes when she was ready for her next meal, which would be a bit away yet – the arachnologist was still flowing through her system, supporting her efforts in bringing her children into this world. Her red belly was bright with hormones and anticipation.

She busied herself adding cushions of moss to the floor, and shady wood slats from which the new web would hang. She breathed in deeply of the moist, refreshing air – perfect, she thought, pleasant and functional. She spent the rest of the day designing the web itself. It was a bit haphazard in its construction, but it pleased her nonetheless.

By the next day, she was ready for the transition. Dressing herself in a sleek, jet-black, floor-length robe with a cut-out at the midriff exposing her colored belly, she laid the egg sacs delicately upon the web’s strands, making sure that each one was properly cushioned and had the largest amount of warm air and moisture that she could give it. Then she retreated to her long-slung couch next to the nursery to watch and wait.

After a couple of days she began to feed on her prey, sucking in his bodily fluids with great relish, knowing that her strength would protect her precious stash. After about 2 1/2 weeks, the first of the sacs shook the silvery strands of the web in its attempt to break open and release its young; the rest followed over the course of the week. She watched as first one large female turned on a smaller male, grabbing him in her pincers and injecting him with digestive enzymes. More followed her lead, culling the number of progeny from hundreds to only dozens, as the bodies piled up beneath them. She was so proud at their initial steps in this world, learning how to survive without her guidance.

It would only be a couple of months before they were ready to leave home, swinging on their own silk to find new homes. She smiled, even knowing she would never see them again. The children were healthy and strong. Her life was complete, and she could die knowing she did well.

(c) 2017 Miriam Ruff All Rights Reserved